I was born near Christmas. We lived with my grandmother, and every year she told the story of how, when my parents brought me home from hospital, I raised my head off my grandmother's shoulder, to look at the lights on the Christmas tree.
My grandmother was a hard working single mother of 5, who cared for her parents in their old age, while looking after her 5 kids. After her parents died, she went to work as a practical nurse, in a long term care facility. She always volunteered to work on Christmas Eve, so the younger staff could be home with their families. On Christmas Eve, she wore a Christmas brooch on her uniform, and carried jingle bells in her pocket, to the delight of her patients, I'm sure.
This is Nanny's brooch. I received it for my 18th birthday. I love it, and people always notice it when I wear it.
My research leads me to believe it is late 1940's costume jewelry, gilded white metal with rhinestones as the candle flames. It has no marks on it, so I have no idea where it might have come from.
I can't wear it without thinking about Nanny. She lived to 88, and enjoyed herself the whole time. I have pictures of her with my kids, and I cherish those. She was a special lady in my life and I loved spending time with her (even if she did cheat at cards).
I am not sure who I will pass the brooch onto, but I hope she understands the value of family.